New York: Exercising during pregnancy was safe for both moms and babies in a new study of heavy women in Brazil, but fitness classes and at-home exercises didn`t keep moms-to-be from gaining too much weight.The finding is "not surprising," according to Dr. Patrick Catalano, a maternal-fetal medicine researcher from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland."Lots of studies have not shown any benefits relative to weight gain in pregnancy using either diet or exercise," said Catalano, who didn`t participate in the new research.The US-based Institute of Medicine recommends that overweight women should gain between 15 and 25 pounds during pregnancy, and obese women 11 to 20 -- less than the amount recommended for normal-weight women.Being overweight or obese while pregnant, or gaining too much weight during pregnancy, increases the chance of having a large baby and needing a Caesarean section. It also ups the risk that babies will have birth defects or grow up to be obese, researchers said.Plus, women who gain a lot of weight during pregnancy tend to keep in on afterwards, Catalano told a news agency.He said that starting an exercise or diet program mid-way through pregnancy probably isn`t as useful as intervening very early in pregnancy -- or better yet, before.
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